Royal Farms first retail tenant at Sparrows Point overhaul

A rendering of the proposed The Shoppes at Tradepoint Atlantic. (Courtesy JLL)

A rendering of the proposed The Shoppes at Tradepoint Atlantic. (Courtesy JLL)

Baltimore-based convenience chain Royal Farms is the first tenant at the retail portion of Tradepoint Atlantic.

The 3,100-acre former steel making site at Sparrows Point in Baltimore County is being transformed into a global multi-modal and logistics hub. The Shoppes at Tradepoint Atlantic will cover roughly 70 acres of space. The Royal Farms store will be built on a 3.7-acre location and will include gas and diesel fueling with a convenience store and car wash.

“The addition of Royal Farms marries a first-rate operator with a great deal of offerings to the burgeoning tenant development at Tradepoint Atlantic,” Greg Ferrante, senior vice president at JLL, which oversees leasing for the entire project, said in a statement. “The surrounding residential population provides further convenience to the heavily-trafficked (Interstate) 695 corridor, and we expect Royal Farms to do quite well here.”

Royal Farms, which has 180 locations in the mid-Atlantic, will occupy one of the seven open retail pads planned for the site. The Tradepoint Atlantic location is expected to open late next year.

Ferrante said last year his firm had conversation with about 85 retailers about leasing retail space. A grocery store is expected to be one of the tenants in the retail portion of the project that includes 150,000 square feet of additional retail space.

Tradepoint Atlantic, a joint venture of Redwood Capital Investments and Hilco Real Estate Co., purchased the property in September 2014.

After taking control of the site, Tradepoint Atlantic set out to transform it into one of the nation’s largest multi-modal sites. The full build-out of the project is expected to take about 20 years, create $2.9 billion in impact on the regional economy and create 17,000 direct and indirect jobs. Major tenants at the multi-modal portion of the project already include Fed Ex, Under Armour and Amazon.

Sparrows Point was home to steel-making operations dating back to the 19th century. In the 1950s, when the plant was operated by Bethlehem Steel, it employed roughly 30,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the Baltimore region and becoming synonymous with the area’s blue-collar identity.

But as the U.S. steel industry collapsed, employment dwindled at the site until steel manufacturing ceased altogether at Sparrows Point in 2012.

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